‘Why did Nehru…': Nirmala Sitharaman questions as she rakes up Kashmir issue
The finance minister described Kashmir as an integral part of India and “it is an issue that should not have gone to the global forum".
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday accused India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru of internationalising the Kashmir issue by taking it to the United Nations. Speaking in Rajya Sabha Sitharaman said the issue should not have gone to the global forum as it was an internal issue.
Nehru had appealed to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) through a petition filed in January 1948 -- after the outbreak of the first war between India and Pakistan. Based on his petition, the council had established the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan to mediate between the two countries.
"This (Kashmir issue) is essentially an issue related to India. The Congress took the issue to the United Nations. Who took it up? Our first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Why? Because the British may have suggested something to him that the issue would not improve, and Nehru took it to the UN," the Union minister said.
Referring to Pakistan, Sitharaman said, "Till today, our neighbours are misusing it." Describing Kashmir as an integral part of India, Sitharaman said, "It is an issue that should not have gone to the global forum. This is essentially an Indian issue, we could have handled it. We are handling it now and showing the difference between the two governments."
Replying to the nearly four-hour-long discussion on the budget, for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for 2022-23, Sitharaman said after the abrogation of Article 370, "you see justice reaching, democracy reaching, economic development reaching" to the residents of the UT.
Parliament on Wednesday approved the ₹1.42-lakh-crore budget for Jammu and Kashmir for 2022-23, with Rajya Sabha returning the relevant bills to the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha had passed the bills on March 14.
The upper House returned the bills -- The Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation Bill, 2022, and The Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation (No.2) Bill, 2022.